May 2023 News | YouTube Channel reached 30,000 subscribers.

Firstly a big “thank you” to everyone who subscribes to our YouTube channel, as we have just reached 30,000 subscribers. We are incredibly grateful for your support, and will continue to try and grow the channel by posting new content every Friday.

The main problem with a Chromebook

One of the biggest issues with owning a Google Chromebook, is how quickly it can go “end of life”. Something that is particularly problematic if you happen to purchase a new Chromebook at the wrong time in its production life.

Basically all Chromebooks have a built in obsolescence. This is at the point when Google will stop providing software support to a particular model of Chromebook. While you can replace ChromeOS with Chrome Flex to continue to receive firmware updates and security patches. For non-technical users this could be a problem, and Chrome Flex may not include features you previously had in ChromeOS.

A new Chromebook should receive between 3 to 7 years of Google support, before it goes end of life. However as this period of support starts, from the date that the first model of Chromebook leaves the factory. If you happen to purchase a Chromebook at the end of its production cycle. You will be buying a product that will shortly become obsolete.

For example we purchased a Asus C302CA Chromebook back in 2019. However, as it is due to go end of life this June. We will only get roughly three years of use from a laptop that cost us £500 ($630). So while we decided to trade it in, and put the money towards a new Chromebook. All we have done is made our obsolete Chromebook someone else’s problem, and added to something called Chromebook Churn.

Chromebook Churn

While there are now a number of high end Chromebooks. Most Chromebooks are low cost devices, aimed at students or people with a limited budget. So during the pandemic Chromebook sales massively increased as everyone had to work/learn from home. However, in a study by the US Public Interest Research Group, they have identify something called Chromebook churn.

Chromebook churn, is were schools see their Chromebooks fail or go end of life. This in turn leaves the school with piles of electronic waste and additional costs as they replace relatively new equipment. So US PIRG are suggesting that Google double their support of a Chromebooks from 4 to 8 years.

Not only would this save US schools 1.8 billion dollars. A reduction in Chromebook Churn will also help to protect the environment. This is because not only does the manufacture of a computer, use a great deal of precious metals. As we still do not recycle efficiently, two thirds of our electronic waste will end up in landfill.

Check when your Chromebook Expires

If you want to check when your Chromebook is due to expire. If from the desktop of ChromeOS, you select SettingsAbout ChromeOSAdditional details. Under Update Schedule you will find the date when automatic software and updates will end for your computer.

Alternatively if you are looking to buy a new Chromebook. If you visit the Google Auto Update Policy page, you will find a list of all Chromebook manufacturers. In this list are included the dates when each model of Chromebook will expire.

Google I/O

On May 10, we will see another Google IO event, which should announce this years release of new Google hardware. So for Google fans it has been rumoured that we will see the release of a Pixel 8 smartphone, the introduction of the Pixel Fold, and a new Pixel tablet. However as we were so impressed with last years Pixel 6a, a mid price smartphone with the same processor as the Pixel 6 Pro. We are excited to see what Google will offer with the Pixel 7a.

Finally, Google are expected to announce the release of Android 14 (Upside Down Cake) which while not a major visual redesign like Android 12, will have numerous under the hood changes that might include improved battery life, preview for swipe back, Larger Fonts, better support for large screens, and enhanced security.

Changes to our video release schedule

Around 18 months ago we created three video release streams. One for YouTube, one for the website and one for our site members. However uploading and editing three separate video streams every week, has proven to be difficult and lead to us making mistakes. So we have decided to simplify things, and return to only having two video release streams.

This means going forward our site members early access videos will be exactly that. With all newly created videos being made available as soon as we have finished them. However for the free to watch videos, they will be released at 8:00am (GMT), every Friday on both the website and our YouTube channel.

However, in order to get everything in sync. As the website has content not yet release on our YouTube channel. Over the next few months we will not be releasing as much content on our website. This is so that we can get both the website and our YouTube channel in sync, which will ultimately ensure we have a less confusing release schedule.

New video releases

To start getting the release schedule of our videos into sync. This month we will only be posting videos to YouTube and not our website. So at the start of the month we will post a video demonstrating how we installed Audacity onto a Chromebook. Then because we have been having an issue with flatpak not installing properly. We will also post a video that shows you how to reset the link to the Flatpak repository.

We will then post a number of quick tip videos relating to various operating systems. However as these are relatively short videos they will be released on an ad-hock basis throughout the month. So please make sure to look out for them on YouTube. Then as we need to catch up during the remainder of May, we will release a number of device reset videos. These videos will include how to factory reset an Apple iPhone, an Apple iPad and a Google Android handset.

Finally at the end of the month, and to complement last months Synology NAS beginners guide episode. While we don’t recommend that you use something called IP reservation. We do recognise that it is a legitimate way to give your NAS a static (local) IP address. So we will be demonstrating the alternative method of assigning a static IP address to a Synology NAS.

Members video

This month for our members we will be releasing four new videos. The first of which is a video that looks at how you install FileZilla onto ChromeOS using Linux Development Environment. For anyone not aware, FileZilla is a must have tool for developers or website builders, as it will allow you to easily transfer files over the internet to a server.

Also this month we will be releasing a number of quick tip videos. These videos will include how you setup something called God Mode in Windows 11, and a demonstration on how you can find the iP address of a web server using an Apple iPad.

Finally as we have now fixed the latest beginners guide video on how you setup a Synology NAS. At the end of the month we will be releasing Part 12, where will look at how you create and edit Groups. This is so that we can create group access permissions for our network shared folders, in preparation for the creation of user accounts.

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